News From Terre Haute, Indiana

September 11, 2012

LIZ CIANCONE: Summer cold may last until autumn

Liz Ciancone
Special to the Tribune-Star

TERRE HAUTE — I have been trying to think of something more miserable than a summer cold. I’m not having any luck with that, maybe because I’ve been wheezing for something like three weeks now. Furthermore, if government has any plans to create a research project to deal with the subject, I don’t want to be on the panel — unless it can offer a jiffy cure.

I know. I’ve been spoiled. I don’t often get a cold, not even when my Best Friend comes home with a doozy. I remember, too, that I rarely caught cold as a kid and, when I did, it lasted about three days: day one a scratchy throat, day two a drippy nose, and day three a grand clearing of nose and throat. Of course, Mom was on hand with the chest rub and the hot lemonade.

I know I am getting older, but this one has lasted three weeks today and I still I wake up every morning and feel like a cat trying to hack up a hair ball.

I am told that there is a point at which one is no longer considered contagious and surely I am well past that point. I certainly hope so. I am beginning to feel like Typhoid Mary.

In a misguided spirit of generosity, I passed the germs along to my Best Friend and still had plenty left over. It’s hard to have no contact when you live in the same house.

As a couple we are heartily sorry we do not own a large block of stock in the paper tissue business. We are well along on the second three-pack of tissues of the largest size.

I awake every morning thinking that this will be the day I will feel “normal” again. It hasn’t happened. I am a patient person, but it is beginning to try my patience, big time.

What really tore it was that I assumed after the first week that I was past date on the seriously contagious phase only to have Number Two son having to spend a couple of days at home with a jar of Vicks. Naturally my two granddogs were thrilled by that, even if Number Two son was not. The dogs were more than happy to cuddle up and keep him from getting chilled.

I have been afraid to check with Number One son. I hope the casual contact over a holiday breakfast had him seated far enough away from me to avoid fluttering germs.

In the meantime, I have missed a luncheon I really wanted to attend. I’ve had to cut back on exercise because the breath doesn’t hold out. I miss having food which has any taste at all. I have to assume that food still tastes the way it is supposed to. My nose is sore.

Tomorrow will be better. I know I will never have a three-day cold again, but if I can hold this one to three weeks, I’ll be satisfied.



Liz Ciancone is a retired Tribune-Star education reporter. Her column has appeared on thispage for more than 25 years. Send e-mail to opinion@tribstar.com.